Eligibility Requirements for a 186 Visa

As you may know, the 186 visa in Australia allows somebody to live and work in the country permanently. However, the visa is intricate and often confusing for both businesses and individuals. While some people can obtain a visa 186 with direct entry, others get a temporary residence stream. So, how does it work?

Three Streams

First and foremost, the 186 visa has three different streams. The one that you apply for will depend on your position and your experience. There are many types of work visas available in the U.S., and if you’re looking for a working visa attorney

Direct Entry Stream – Firstly, the direct entry stream is designed for people with extensive experience in a particular occupation. If you have three years of experience and are competent with the English language, you may be eligible for this stream.

Temporary Residence Tradition Stream – This time, the application is for those who already hold the 482 or 457 visas. What’s more, they need to have been with the nominating employer for either two or three years. Again, you must be competent with the English language.

Labour Agreement Stream – Finally, this final stream helps applicants who are employed using a labour agreement.

Regardless of which visa one obtains, it allows individuals to work in Australia for the specified period (permanently with the DE stream), study in the country, and enrol in the public healthcare system (Medicare). Elsewhere, individuals can also sponsor relatives to live in the country. In some cases, you can also apply for Australian citizenship.

In terms of relatives, you can sponsor dependent children and stepchildren, partners, and the dependent children and stepchildren of a partner. During the sponsoring process, you’ll need to prove that you live with your partner and that you’re in a genuine relationship.

Eligibility Requirements

Ultimately, the eligibility requirements differ between the three streams. However, there are some general requirements to keep in mind.

Nominating Employer – Firstly, you cannot apply for a 186 visa if you do not have a nominating employer. In other words, somebody that hires you in the business and is willing to sponsor your application.

Naturally, the employer must be an Australian company and the nomination only lasts for six months. If you don’t lodge the application and nomination together, make sure the former is lodged within six months of the nomination. If the position isn’t available any longer, you will not receive the visa. Likewise, you will also fail to obtain the visa if the employer chooses to withdraw the nomination.

Age – Although there are some exemptions, you must be under the age of 45. If you’re currently 44 years of age, you’ll need to lodge your application before turning 45. Assuming you meet this requirement, you can still obtain the 186 visa even if you turn 45 after the application is sent.

Experience – Sadly, you also can’t apply for a 186 visa if you don’t have three full years of experience in the occupation. Although casual work isn’t considered in the application, you may obtain a visa based on part-time work.

Language – As the primary applicant, you’ll need to show competent English as part of the application process. Passport holders from English-speaking countries will not have to complete an English test, and this includes the United States, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Canada, and Ireland.

The five most common English tests include TOEFL iBT, IELTS, OET, PTE Academic, and Cambridge.


If you need help with your application, contact a third-party service – you’ll now find companies willing to help individuals through the application process. Assuming you meet the eligibility requirements, it won’t be long before you have a 186 visa!